The most discussed news related to our automobile industry in recent days was the Volkswagen venture being welcomed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Volkswagen has been in talks with Premier Systems Private Limited, the authorized importer of Audi vehicles in the country, to set up an automobile manufacturing plant for its Amarok pickup and T6 passenger van.
Pakistan’s automobile industry has seen some rapid developments recently, thanks to the Auto Policy 2016-21 after which plenty of news cars have already been launched in the market while there are more to come. However so far, none of the new vehicles are targeted towards the budget car buyer.
Most of the vehicles are priced at or above 2.0 million PKR and thus targets those with strong purchase power, while the masses are left on Pak Suzuki’s fortune. Sparing the Rio, all upcoming KIA vehicles (spotted so far) will be above 2.0 million price range (speculated) while the upcoming FAW R7 SUV will also fall in the similar price segment.
Volkswagen’s intent has also been towards pickup & minivans and why not, since there is a huge demand of such vehicles due to CPEC related activities in the country. However people to wish to see VW offering their passenger cars in Pakistan but bear in mind, those won’t come cheap either.
Even if Volkswagen brings their passenger cars (sedans, hatchbacks) in Pakistan, they too will be priced around PKR 2.0 million so there is absolutely no hope for the general public to opt something other than Pak Suzuki.
Based on Volkswagen’s activities in Asian region, the cheapest VW that can be offered in Pakistan is the Polo hatchback that comes with a 1.2 liter engine paired to a manual or automatic gearbox. The engine produces 74 bhp and does nearly 16.4 km in a liter.
In India, the simplest of versions come with front 2 power windows only, manual transmission, driver & passenger airbags and ABS & cost INR 5.47 lac which converts into PKR 8.71 lac. However it’s safe to say that even if the VW Polo is introduced here, it will (at least) fall around the Suzuki Swift price range, or perhaps more. And you simply cannot expect a Volkswagen to be as cheap to run & maintain as a Suzuki.
Related: Review: 2017 Zotye Z100
To get decent cars available in less than 1 million PKR seems like a dream & perhaps Chinese cars remain the only option for common people to someday get decent & affordable vehicles in Pakistan, but looking at the recent examples such as the Zotye Z100 by HRL Motors, that too looks something impossible.
Do you think VW should introduce its small cars in Pakistan? Let us know with your expectations…
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com